Here are some information you may have forgotten about Independence Day. You can be the one with the 'smarty pants' on at the picnic after you polish up on these fast facts. 

• Independence Day was not declared a legal holiday until 1870. But that didn't stop people from celebrating!

• Work on the Erie Canal in 1817, the laying of the cornerstone of the Washington Monument in 1848, and the laying of the cornerstone of the Freedom Tower all began on the Fourth of July.

• The city of Boston, Massachusetts, first commemorated Independence Day on March 5, 1783, the day of the Boston Massacre.

• Fireworks were made in China as early as the 12th Century! The Chinese originally used them for war rockets and explosives.

According to Kidskonnect:

  • On the 4th of July, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress.
  • Independence Day honors the birthday of the United States of America and the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.
  • The Declaration of Independence was actually a letter to King George that had been written on July 2 by Thomas Jefferson. It was a formal explanation of why the Continental Congress voted to declare independence from Great Britain. It was meant to justify a revolt against the British, with a list of charges against the British king.
  • The main problem is that the colonists were angry they were being taxed by the British government, and they had no vote or voice in the decisions that affected them.
  • The Declaration of Independence was signed by 56 men representing the 13 colonies. The moment the declaration was signed it marked the beginning of the all-out war against the British.
  • The first signature on the Declaration of Independence was John Hancock’s. The myth is that he wrote his name large so that Kind George would be able to read it without his glasses.
  • Three U.S. presidents actually died on July 4. Two of them passed away within hours of each other on July 4, 1826: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. These two men had been political rivals and then friends later in life. The other President was James Monroe, who died July 4, 1831. One US President, Calvin Coolidge, was born on July 4.
Yana Paskova/Getty Images
Yana Paskova/Getty Images
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